Monday, August 29, 2016

Huma Abedin and the Latest Media Adventures in False Equivalence

I've been curious about the media feeding frenzy over the news that Anthony Weiner may have done more sexting on his phone last Summer.

Who cares? He's out of politics right? Isn't this just cruel at this point to laugh at him assuming he's done anything wrong? I still don't know who you hurt if you send naked pictures of yourself via social media-as long as it's to a consenting adult.

Weiner is actually a very interesting guy who I wish were still in politics. But in the age we live in, what can you do? If his voters think sending pictures to a consenting adult is an unforgivable offense, there's nothing you can do.

I question it in a way as there are many things that are far worse on my own scale of morality than 'sexting' but again, his district had spoken.

This latest outrage though, really bothers me as it just seems gratuitously cruel. Why kick a guy who's as down as Weiner?

Either Weiner doesn't have issues and so who cares, or he does and people shouldn't make fun of him.

But it soon began to emerge why the Beltway pundits consider this news.

CNN's Brian Stelter:

"AP photo of Clinton leaving a fundraiser last night. Wonder what she was looking at on her phone"

That's it. It's all about Hillary. Somehow, because Huma Abedin is on Hillary's team then in Beltway logic: Weiner's problem=Huma's problem=Hillary's problem.

Hillary needs to apologize for having someone on her staff with a husband who may or may not have a sexting addiction.

I did everything I could to get Stelter to answer my question on Twitter finally promising to watch his show every day for a month if he explains why Weiner's texts from last year are Hillary's problem.

"steve bannon's personal relationships are news. roger ailes' relationships are news. huma abedin's relationships are also news."

See folks? When we talk about false equivalence, this is what is meant. This is exactly how the press thinks. Because Bannon and Ailes have been attacked, you have to get someone on Hillary's team to make it fair.

And not how asymmetric Stelter's standard is here. Bannon and Ailes were not in hot water due to their relationships but their own personal conduct.

But this shows the point Peter Daou got a lot of criticism by the elite mostly white male pundits the last two days for telling the truth: a big part of the double standard Hillary harbors under is about gender.

But is not this false equivalence between Bannon and Ailes on the one hand, and Huma and Hillary on the other all about sexism?

Men at best are judged harshly for their actions. Women for their relations. For the actions of their spouse and even the spouses of those who work for them.

P.S. By the way, Brian Stelter, as mainstream pundits go, is a pretty good guy. He's better than a lot of them. 

What I mean is that he at least tries, and understands that false equivalence can be a problem. But this is simply the coin of the realm. 

You want to see bad? Check out Andrea Mitchell's performance at 12 this afternoon. She laid it on really thick about how important Huma is to everything Hillary has ever done, and her entire State department tenure with the punchline obviously that Hillary should have known what her Huma's husband was texting before having Huma get her a cup of coffee. 

I'm telling you. Could God one day make me the new President of MSNBC, and I'd love to have a chat with Ms. Mitchell. 

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